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Sewing Machines For The Part-Time Seamstress

Oh, but I do love to sew. I’m horrible at it. Okay I’m not really horrible at it, but sewing nearly always accompanies cursing at my house (catharsis, catharsis), and also I never use any of the special stitches or advanced settings. All those buttons and doohickies and settings sort of scare the dickens out of me.

I used to have my own Etsy shop selling customized baby body suits and hand-stitched baby blankets, back in the day, and one question I always got from crafty customers was, “What sewing machine do you recommend? I’m not a beginner, but I’m not an expert, and I don’t want to drop a fortune on features I’ll never use.”

My go-to answer was always that sewing machines are like husbands. There is no such thing as the perfect one, and each one has its own weird tics and flaws, but somehow you grow to love them, and if you ever have to switch to a new one you would feel horribly sad and depressed it would take quite a while before you could ever get used to the new one. (Right? Like husbands!)

After the jump, I’ve compiled a round up of some good, simple sewing machines. It’s certainly not definitive, but it will get you on your way to finding your own machine husband. A machine that will get the sewing done without intimidating the pants off you. A machines that may have imperfections here or there, but that you will love and cuddle up to at night and not mind when they leave their shoes out all over the place … yes.


  • Singer 4210 1 of 11
    Singer 4210
    Growing up my mom and grandma both sewed on Singers, so this brand is dear to my heart. $149.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Singer 7470 Confidence Electronic Sewing Machines 2 of 11
    Singer 7470 Confidence Electronic Sewing Machines
    This is a great machine for the I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman type sewer, so... Intermediate? $340.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Janome HD1000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine 3 of 11
    Janome HD1000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
    It may have only 14 stitches, but this machine is built for use. $299.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Brother CS6000i Sew Advance Sew Affordable 4 of 11
    Brother CS6000i Sew Advance Sew Affordable
    Cheesy name aside, this machine has a great online rating and is said to be the best bang for your buck. Currently on special for $167.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Singer 7442 Electronic Sewing Machine 5 of 11
    Singer 7442 Electronic Sewing Machine
    There seems to be a healthy market for refurbished 7442s online, which is a good sign for sure. Includes quilting and decorative stitching along with your basic constructive stitching. $170.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Brother XL2610 Free Arm Sewing Machine 6 of 11
    Brother XL2610 Free Arm Sewing Machine
    For one, it's pink. For two, it has 25 built-in stitches and an automatic buttonholer (hee hee), and is great for beginners. Who like pink. $99.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Singer 7258 Stylist Model Sewing Machine 7 of 11
    Singer 7258 Stylist Model Sewing Machine
    100 built-in stitches! Currently $180 on Amazon.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Brother LS2125I Easy-to-Use Lightweight Basic Machine 8 of 11
    Brother LS2125I Easy-to-Use Lightweight Basic Machine
    For the true beginner or a seamstress who needs a basic machine to tote around on the run. $75.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Brother XL2600I 25-Stitch Free Arm Sewing Machine 9 of 11
    Brother XL2600I 25-Stitch Free Arm Sewing Machine
    Not for heavy-duty fabrics or projects requiring too presser foot adjustment, this machine may be just what you need if you're just starting out and want to keep it under a Benjamin. $85.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Janome Sewist 500 25Stitch Freearm Top Bobbin 10 of 11
    Janome Sewist 500 25Stitch Freearm Top Bobbin
    Here is what is intriguing about this model: Automatic needle threader. Genius. $280.
    BUY YOURS HERE.
  • Brother CE-5500 Project Runway Sewing Machine 11 of 11
    Brother CE-5500 Project Runway Sewing Machine
    Comes with 50 built-in stitches, and will remind you to "make it work" when you're feeling discouraged. No, it won't. $119.
    BUY YOURS HERE.

Of course, I’ve been told time and time again, if money and technology are no object, invest in a Bernina.

What sewing machines do you recommend?

 

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